Fragmentation of DHS public corruption investigations: options to leverage overlapping jurisdiction and enhance collaboration
Merchant, Roger T.
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From maintaining aviation security, to patrolling the country's borders, to granting immigration documentation, the Homeland Security has tremendous responsibilities. As such, it is imperative that the Department has a robust internal investigative mechanism to prevent, deter and investigate allegations of public corruption. Currently, there are eight agencies that have authority to conduct public corruption investigations within the Department. For every allegation of corruption within the Department, there are three agencies that have concurrent jurisdiction to investigate; in some cases, four agencies have overlapping jurisdiction to investigate the same matter. To maximize efficiency of operations, avoid duplication of efforts and best serve the American public, collaboration is essential. This thesis will examine other domestic and foreign institutions that have grappled with overlapping jurisdiction and leadership issues and provide analysis as to how those lessons learned can be applied to the DHS anti-corruption community. Several policy options are provided to enhance collaborative efforts, improve information sharing and create synergy of efforts. The policy options include: recognition and utilization of an already existent megacommunity; expanding the cross-designation of agency personnel; and the formation of public corruption task forces.
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